The Secretariat of the Pacific Community says the global financial crisis makes improving human rights in the region all the more urgent.
The comment follows a call from the Cook Islands' delegate to the Secretariat for a policy paper on which Pacific countries have ratified and implemented human rights-related treaties.
Treva Braun, a Gender Equality Adviser for the Secretariat's Human Development Programme, says the extent of human rights protection varies throughout the region.
But she says it's critical that the level of action on the issue is stepped up over the coming months.
"The gloabl economic crisis as with virtually every other crisis has the greatest impact on women and children, they're the ones who tend to fall off the radar, they're the ones who tend to have the least access to whatever resources exist, so we need to make sure we're bringing a human rights fcous to any situation that's happening int the world and it becomes that much more important in situations of crisis"
Treva Braun of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.